Blackjack, or better known as twenty-one in Malaysia, is a multifaceted game offering different variations catering to many distinctive playstyles. It’s one of the most popular card games in the world due to how accessible it is for new players. However, mastering the game is no easy feat and requires time and experience.
Players in Malaysia can enjoy the benefit of playing blackjack online which turns it into a fast-paced game because you don’t have to wait for other players to make their moves. On this page, we’ll guide you through the game to get you up and running in no time at all. We’ll also introduce you to the most popular blackjack special moves and side bets so you can get the full experience the game offers.
If you’re already familiar with blackjack, then head over to any one of our selected online casinos that offer the best blackjack games for Malaysian players:
[Best casino sites to play blackjack for Malaysian players]
The basic rules of blackjack
Picking up blackjack is quick and easy even if you’ve never played the game before. Although there are many variations and you can play from one to eight different decks, the main rules are the same. You don’t play against other players but instead, your aim is to beat the house.
The best hand is the one that’s closest to a total of 21 without going over. The value of each card is the same as the number displayed whereas picture cards have a value of 10. You can decide whether an ace card has the value of 1 or 11, depending on which value is the best for your hand.
You start by placing a number of bets equal to the number of hands you’re playing. Once the bets are in, you receive two face-up cards while the dealer gets one face-up then one face-down card, called the hole card. If you get a natural blackjack which consists of one ace card and a picture or 10 card, you instantly win the game.
Now, you can choose to stand which means that you’re challenging the house with your initial hand. If your initial hand is too low, you can choose to hit, which means that you get an additional card added to your hand. You can hit as many times as you want but you’ll immediately lose the game should you go over 21 with your hand, called bust.
When all players have had their turns, the dealer will reveal their hole card. Depending on the variation you’re playing, the dealer will have to keep drawing cards until their hand is at least 16 or 17. If the dealer goes bust or their hand is lower than yours, you win. Should your hand be the same value as the dealer’s, then you tie and your bet is returned to you.
Special blackjack moves and side bets
Now things get really exciting! Although the rules of blackjack are simple, the beauty of the game lies in its versatility. Apart from the standard hit or stand moves, there are other things you can do after receiving your initial hand:
- Double down: When you double down, you immediately double your stake with the condition that you will stand after taking one additional card.
- Split: If your initial hand is a pair, you can choose to split it, separating them into two hands. You’ll have to put in an additional bet equal to your original wager to cover the new hand. Then, the dealer will give a card to each of your hand and you continue the game by playing with two simultaneous hands.
- Insurance: Should the dealer’s first face-up card is an ace, you can choose insurance option which means that you think the dealer has a natural blackjack. You take half of your bet and place it in the insurance pot. If the dealer indeed has a natural blackjack, you’ll receive 2x the amount you’ve put in the pot. Otherwise, you lose your bet in the pot and the game continues.
Another element that adds flavour to the game is by placing side bets, giving you more than one way to win the game. You can place side wagers with just a small amount money but the payouts are often many times your stake. Here are some of the most commonly found side bet options available in online blackjack:
- Lucky lucky: The sum of your initial hand plus the dealer’s face-up card is 19, 20, or 21.
- Progressive jackpot: Some blackjack games carry a progressive jackpot which you can bet on like Microgaming’s Triple Sevens Blackjack which starts at US$10,000 (RM40,000).
- Bust it!: You bet that the first card drawn by the dealer will result in a bust.
- Match the dealer: Either one or both your initial card is the same as the dealer’s face-up card.
- Lucky ladies: You bet that your initial hand has a total of 20.
The most commonly found blackjack variations you’ll see
There are more than 20 variants of online blackjack to choose from. While they share the same core rules, each variation has its own added twist to the game. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular variations that Malaysians players love:
- Classic/ European Blackjack: This is the most popular variation online which uses the basic rules of blackjack and usually has the insurance option available.
- Pontoon: The dealer doesn’t have a hole card and only draws their second card after players have finished their moves. This means that you can win against the dealer’s natural blackjack if you reach a blackjack before the dealer gets their second card. In addition, if you double down on a hand containing an ace card, the ace must only be counted as a value of one. Should you split your initial hand, you can only draw one time after the split.
- Double Exposure: Both the dealer’s initial hand cards are faced-up but the dealer will win in the case of a tie.
- Blackjack Switch: You can play with two hands simultaneously, making the game even more fast-paced.
- Live-dealer Blackjack: Experience the thrill of blackjack in real time where a human dealer runs the game in live-dealer blackjack. You can play blackjack live wherever you are, like on NetEnt’s Mobile Standard Blackjack which brings you closer than ever to the action.
Tips and tricks to maximise your winning potential
Blackjack is a casino game that combines both luck and skill which means that you can increase your opportunity of winning to a certain extent. Our blackjack experts at Casino Guru share some tips that you could apply immediately to improve your game.
First of all, new players should start learning the game by playing the free versions available online. Seasoned punters could also benefit from free games if they want to check out a new blackjack variation that they have never played before.
While the insurance option might sometimes seem tempting, players will lose in the long-run due to the presence of a house edge. With online blackjack, the deck is always shuffled after every game so card-counting will not work here, especially if you want to utilise the insurance option to win.
If your initial hand is either a pair of aces or eights, you should always split them. When you split your aces, you get a better chance of drawing a blackjack. On the other hand, a pair of eights give you a total of 16, which is a troublesome number to deal with so you’re better off splitting them.
Get ready to join the pros and win at online blackjack
Blackjack is such a coveted game that it even has its own Blackjack Hall of Fame where people who have contributed most to the industry are honoured. However, you don’t have to earn any title to enjoy the thrilling game which comes with so many exciting options, moves, and variations. Choose from one of our trusted online casinos now and play this international game from your home in Malaysia.